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Unemployment is graduates’ worst nightmare

A fortnight ago, University of Botswana Chancellor and former president, Sir Ketumile Masire capped 4136 graduates at the institution’s main stadium. Of the 4136 graduates, 407 attained diplomas, 3142 were awarded bachelor’s degree, 273 were conferred with master’s degree, 5 were awarded master of philosophy degrees and only 19 attained doctorate of philosophy.


Reading for a degree at a university is very arduous and cumbersome as students spends sleepless nights preparing for examinations and tests, making laboratory reports, going for field work and working on assignments and tutorials. Students of the 21st century are no longer worried about the workload and burden one has to undertake in order to be awarded his qualification, but prospects of finding a decent, better paying and rightful job for oneself.


Unemployment amongst the graduates and youth in general remain as one of the burning issues in the country. According to Central Statistics Office, unemployment rate in Botswana stands at 20 percent as per the BAIS IV report. In addition, Botswana’s unemployment rate is the second in middle income countries.


In an interview with WeekendPost, Bakang Ntshingane who was the only graduate of single major in political science blamed the education system explaining that it does not train or inspire graduates to be game changers. In addition, Ntshingane observed that tertiary institutions are caught off guard each time by the job market demands.

“We only assume that a degree is supposed to get us a job, but it is also supposed to teach us to change the way we think, and the only way to do that is to have an inspiring and challenging education system. We need to have an education system that is creative and imaginative enough to plan for the future, and institutions that are ready to handle the changing dynamics of the job market” reveal Ntshingane.


Another graduate, Titus Paul said that he was hurt that he had completed his studies. He said that prospects of decent employment are very slim as he has seen previous graduates loitering the streets with their hard-earned degrees. Paul pointed out that it is better to be a student as the government assist one with monthly living allowance in order to make ends meet.

“It is very sad to celebrate one’s graduation knowing that a great monster lies ahead. There is need to grow our economy, stop recycling civil servants and wave job requirements for graduates especially experience” argued Paul who graduated with a degree in economics.


Amos Kandjou shared the same sentiments with Paul. He said graduates should desist from leaning on the government rather they should make sure that they are employable and match the job market. He implored graduates to be strategic in order to penetrate the market.

Another graduate, Kabelo Mhuriro stated that as new batch of graduates emerge every year, the country is forced to face twin problems of increasing unemployment among young people and a phenomenon of mismatch between graduate supply and market demand. He called on the government to put in place initiatives that would improve employability of graduates.


For his part, Professor Thapelo Otlogetswe of University of Botswana explained that skills mismatch does not occur at the training-economy axis rather at the employment junction. Otlogetswe observed that educational qualifications no longer earns one a job but political connections and personal brand are determinants of securing employment over the nature of one’s training.

“Well trained persons are either unemployed or stuck in the wrong field and many of our critical areas are not led by qualified individuals. It is sad that our best minds lie desolate in the streets, discarded and ignored” concluded Professor Otlogetswe.

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Free at last: Ian Kirby Speaks Out

6th December 2021
Justice Ian Kirby

The outgoing President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ian Kirby, shares his thoughts with us as he leaves the Bench at the end of this year.

WeekendPost: Why did you move between the Attorney General and the Bench?

Ian Kirby: I was a member of the Attorney General’s Chambers three times- first in 1969 as Assistant State Counsel, then in 1990 as Deputy Attorney General (Civil), and finally in 2004 as Attorney General. I was invited in 2000 by the late Chief Justice Julian Nganunu to join the Bench. I was persuaded by former President Festus Mogae to be his Attorney General in 2004 as, he said, it was my duty to do so to serve the nation. I returned to the Judiciary as soon as I could – in May 2006, when there was a vacancy on the High Court Bench.

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Civil society could rescue Botswana’s flawed democracy’ 

6th December 2021
Parliament

Botswana’s civil society is one of the non-state actors that could save the country’s democracy from sliding into regression, a Germany based think tank has revealed.  This is according to a discussion paper by researchers at the German Development Institute who analysed the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes In Botswana.

In the paper titled “E-government and democracy in Botswana: Observational and experimental evidence on the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes,” the researchers offer a strongly worded commentary on Botswana’s ‘flawed democracy.’  The authors noted that with Botswana’s Parliament structurally – and in practice – feeble, the potential for checks and balances on executive power rests with the judiciary.

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Bangwato at loggerheads over Moshupa trip

6th December 2021

Bangwato in Serowe — where Bamagwato Paramount Chief and former President Lt. Gen Ian Khama originates – disagree on whether they must send a delegation to dialogue with President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s family in Moshupa. Just last week, a meeting was called by the Regent of Bamagwato, Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane, at Serowe Kgotla to, among others, update the tribe on the whereabouts of their Kgosi (Khama). 

Further, his state of health was also discussed, with Kgamane telling the attendees that all is well with Khama. The main reason for the meeting was to deliberate on the escalating tension between Khama and Masisi — a three-year bloodletting going unabated.

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